Visitors to the Inpatient Unit (IPU)

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Read the latest visitor guidance here

Please see our information pages where there is advice on our services and visiting the hospice at this time.


The Inpatient Unit or IPU, is an 18 bed short stay unit at the hospice. Patients are admitted to the IPU to help us carefully manage difficult symptoms. When you are admitted, we will assess your needs and discuss plans for your future care. This may include planning for your discharge and will be on an individual basis. The IPU is not a long term stay unit, following discharge, and along with your normal healthcare providers such as your GP or district nurse, the hospice can also support you and your family in the community.

The IPU has three bays, each with four beds. There are also six single side rooms with one bed. Priority for the single rooms is given where there may be a clinical need, such as for infection control purposes.

If you are seeking information on specialist support at Beccles Hospital, where we have 6 palliative care beds, please visit our webpage here. 

Below is information on the Ipswich Inpatient Unit to help with your visit or admission:

When you arrive at the hospice, you may use the car park at the front of the building, and the spaces adjacent to the driveway.


Visitors must sign in and out at reception, when you enter or leave the building, and leave your car registration number with the receptionist.
During normal office hours, entry to the building is via the main reception at the front.


Out of normal hours, or when reception is closed, there is an evening entrance, signposted to the right of the building. Please ring the buzzer and you will be let in.

If you are arriving by train, there is a taxi rank at Ipswich train station, but there is no direct bus service to the hospice. For bus routes to the hospice, please visit the Ipswich Buses website. If you are driving to the hospice, the postcode is IP3 8LX.


There are numerous shops, supermarkets and restaurants within a short driving distance of the hospice and a number of hotels.

When you or a family member is admitted to IPU, you will need to bring some personal items:

• toiletries eg. shower gel/soap/toothbrush/toothpaste (the hospice does not supply toiletries)
• tissues
• clothes
• nightwear
• medication - please bring your medication with you, as the doctors need to check them on admission. Your family will be asked to take any medications that are not needed home.
• mobility equipment - if you use a wheelchair, a frame or sticks then please bring them with you.

We advise that patients only bring small quantities of cash into the hospice, no more than £20, and we ask that valuables are left at home as the hospice cannot accept responsibility for personal property.

Meals are provided for patients free of charge. Please let staff know if you have any special dietary requirements.


Family and friends can pre-book a paid for lunch by filling in the form in the hospice dining room, before 10.30am. Lunch is served between 12pm and 1.30pm, please pay for your lunch at the till in the dining room.


Snacks and drinks are available to buy in the dining room, there is also a coffee machine, with a variety of hot drinks (donations are welcome).


Ridley’s Café is available to patients and their families receiving care through the Community Care Unit or on the IPU. Open from Tuesday to Thursday, 10am-3pm, patients and families can relax and enjoy light snacks, hot and cold drinks and freshly made cakes from the café in Ridley’s Atrium.
A light breakfast will be offered to visitors who need to stay the night. Breakfast for patients is served from 8am, lunch from 12pm and an evening meal is served from 5pm. There is a kitchen on the IPU which visitors are welcome to use to make drinks and snacks.

Appointments are bookable and visitors will need to follow the relevant PPE requirements at the time of visiting. For the most up to date information, please visit our hospice website to see the latest guidance by visiting this page.

A hospitality room is available for visitors needing to stay the night; this is allocated according to need on a day by day basis. There is a sofa bed and bedding, a TV and a shower room. If you use this facility please leave it tidy and vacate it by 8am in order to allow for cleaning.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, visitors must adhere to the relevant PPE requirements on their visit. Visitors will be required to wear a surgerical face mask, unless exempt, which will be provided by the hospice for you to wear. Hand sanitisers are provided for use on both entering and leaving the IPU for infection control.


If you are unwell, please check with staff before visiting IPU as some patients’ immune systems may be compromised, and they may be more at risk of infection. Please do not visit if you have COVID-19 or have symptoms.


For full guidance, visit this website page here.

You are welcome to bring in flowers for patients. There is an area in the IPU kitchen with vases and scissors. Please feel free to ask a ward volunteer for help or assistance. For infection control purposes, please do not empty water from flower vases in to the sink for washing up, there is a separate sink for flower arrangements.

We do not have personal laundry facilities at the hospice. We ask that
families take laundry home where possible.

The hospice is a no smoking site. If visitors wish to smoke we ask that they do so off site. We have a designated smoking room on the IPU strictly for patients’ use only.

Mobile phones can be used on the IPU. Please ask a member of staff for the Wifi password.

Well behaved pets may be allowed to visit with prior agreement. Dogs must be kept on leads in the hospice and its grounds and you are responsible for cleaning up after any pet that you bring in. Dogs are not allowed in the dining room, or the IPU kitchen.

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